Brian S. Glatt, MD, board certified plastic surgeon of the Premier Plastic Surgery Center of New Jersey explains how to help avoid stretch marks during pregnancy on parentsconnect.com.
Your sister got them and you’re terrified you’ll get them, too. Or worse, you already have them, thanks to that beautiful baby you gave birth to. What to do? Dr. Brian S. Glatt, MD, of Premier Plastic Surgery Center of New Jersey, says the key to managing stretch marks is all about prevention. Indeed, genetics is a big factor, too, but there are a couple of things you can do to give yourself a fighting chance.
1. Gain weight gradually. This allows the skin to stretch slowly.
2. Eat food with a high content of vitamins A, C, D, and E, zinc, omega 3s, essential fatty acids, and protein. “This will help your skin produce more elasticity and aid in extra healthy collagen production,” says Glatt.
3. Drink up. Water, that is. “Staying adequately hydrated during pregnancy is thought to enhance the moisture content of the skin and may also contribute to the prevention of stretch mark formation,” according to Glatt.
4. Moisturize. Dry skin that is being stretched is more likely to damage the underlying collagen and elastin fibers. Moisturized skin will have increased elasticity. Look for moisturizing creams made from aloe vera, cocoa butter, grape seed, squalene oil, vitamin E, collagen, pro-vitamin B5, germ oil, aroma oil or essential oil. All can help to prevent the formation of stretch marks by moisturizing and increasing the elasticity of skin. Glatt recommends cocoa butter in a stick or in the tub, not creams with cocoa butter content. He recommends Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. “Rub it into the entire abdomen, flanks, and breasts twice a day, and rub it into the skin quite aggressively.”